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Hortaea werneckii

Synonyms: 
Cladosporium werneckii; Exophiala werneckii; Phaeoannellomyces werneckii.

Hortaea werneckii is a common saprophytic fungus believed to occur in soil, compost, humus and on wood in humid tropical and subtropical regions and is the causative agent of tinea nigra in humans.

RG-1 organism.

Morphological Description: 
Colonies are slow growing, initially mucoid, yeast-like and shiny-black. However with age they develop abundant aerial mycelia and become dark olivaceous in colour. Microscopically, colonies consist of brown to dark olivaceous, septate hyphal elements and numerous two-celled, pale brown, cylindrical to spindle-shaped yeast-like cells that taper towards the ends to form an annellide. Most yeast-like cells also have prominent darkly-pigmented septa. Annellides may also arise from the hyphae. Conidia are one to two-celled, cylindrical to spindle-shaped, hyaline to pale brown and usually occur in aggregated masses. Chlamydospores also present.

Key Features: 
Hyphomycete, two-celled yeast-like cells producing annelloconidia.

Molecular Identification: 
An ITS-primer specific for H. werneckii was developed by Abliz et al. (2003). ITS sequencing can also assist identification.

References: 
Mok (1982), McGinnis (1980), McGinnis et al. (1985), Rippon (1988), de Hoog et al. (2000), Abliz et al. (2003), Ng et al. (2005).

Antifungal Susceptibility: Hortaea werneckii (Australian National data); MIC µg/mL
No <0.03 0.06 0.125 0.25 0.5 1 2 4 8 16 32 >64
AmB 6 1 1 1 1 2
FLU 6 2 1 3
VORI 6 2 1 3
POSA 4 2 2
ITRA 8 2 2 2 2

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